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Master Planner

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This document will serve as an overview of the functionality available via the Master Planner (MP) function.

The purpose of the Master Planner is to allow the user to see demand for purchased items and for manufactured items at the top level, and to create replenishments for those demands.  It can suggest purchase orders (PO), combining demand for an item across any number of requirements.  MP will suggest the vendor from which to purchase the material, based on the default vendor on the item master, and combine the requirements for that item for that vendor in a single purchase order, using pricing information from trade agreements or from the cost of the item.  It can do likewise to manufactured items, combining demand for those items across requirements to create a single production work order (PWO).

Important to note: Master Planner will not explode through an item’s BOM when suggesting a production work order.  It is only when a PWO has been created will Ascent explode through to the bill of material of that item, and if a certain custom setting is activated, will explode through all of the BOMs below the top level for that item, detailing out the requirements, and giving you the opportunity to create POs and PWOs to support the top level PWO requirements.

Definition: Master Planner is a demand planning tool.  It will look at your demand, whether that be via sales orders (or optionally Ascent opportunities / Ascent quotes) as direct sales order line entry or as components of a BOM-Phantom entered on a sales order, BOM-Depletion Lines on production work orders, or as a result of violating the minimum on hand quantity rules if using Coverage Code “Min/Max” on the item master.  It will ignore the minimum on hand if you are using the Coverage Code “Requirement”.  If the item is coded as having Coverage Code “Manual”, it will ignore that item completely.

Let’s look at the item master.  There are several fields that pertain to master planner:

  1. Default Vendor – to properly use Master Planner, you would need to enter who the primary or default vendor would be for this purchased item.  That way, when a PO is suggested, it can have the vendor put on the purchase order, so you don’t have to.  Very important note: when Master Planner suggests a PO, it will also find any other items that have this same vendor as the default vendor. And will put them on a single PO along with your item in question.  If you do not put default vendors on your items, then Ascent will create a single, very large (potentially) PO for all those items that have suggested replenishments, resulting in a large, basically unusable PO.  Therefore, please make sure that all of your purchased items have a default vendor. 

2. Standard Lead Time for PO Receipt – this will tell you how long it normally takes once a PO is placed (Order Date) to the date the material is supposed to be received.

3. Estimated Production Time – the time it takes to assembly/manufacture/fabricate a quantity of one (1) of the item in terms of 1 day.  For example, if you can complete 25 of these items in 1 day, your Estimated Production Time is 1 / 25 = 0.04; if you can complete 10 in 1 day, your Estimated Production Time is 1 / 10 = 0.1.  It is important to note that this field is only a two (2) decimal field, so if you can complete 8 in one day, 1 / 8 = 0.125, and if you enter .125 Ascent will round up to 0.13.

4. Coverage Code –  this is the inventory management method for which the quantity of this item will be maintained. There are three options, Min/Max, Requirement and Manual.  If this is set to “Min/Max” then the Master Planner will calculate a suggested replenishment quantity based on (Quantity on Hand + Quantity on Order on PO + Quantity on Order on PWO) – (Quantity on SO Lines + Quantity on BOM Depletion Lines on PWO) and compare that to the Minimum on Hand, and a replenishment order will be suggested for the quantity required to satisfy the minimum on hand quantity.  If this is set to “Requirement” then the above formula holds true with the exception of the comparison to the Minimum on Hand. The Master Planner would not take the Minimum on Hand into consideration.  The final setting, “Manual” indicates that the Master Planner should not plan this item, and that planning would be done off-system.

5. Minimum on Hand – this is the minimum on hand required for this item.  This is used by Master Planner for replenishment suggestions.

6. Standard Order Quantity: The standard quantity ordered for the item.  It can also be considered the minimum lot size that a vendor will run for you (or that your shop will set up a line for).  If the quantity on hand plus quantity on order (whether through PWO or PO) minus the requirements (whether through PWO or Sales Order) is less than the minimum on hand, Master Planner will recommend a Purchase Order with at least this standard order quantity. It could be more than the standard order quantity, depending on how much you need.

7. Order Multiple: This field is used in Master Planner.  You might have a Standard Order Quantity of 144, meaning that when Master Planner suggests a replenishment order, the smallest quantity it will recommend is 144.  However, after that, your supplier (or plant) might be able to ship (or make) the material in lots of 12, however, 144 is the minimum.  In this case, if 150 are required, the Master Planner would suggest 144 + 12 = 156.

Custom Setting of Importance

Edit PO/PWO before creation on MP

This custom setting in Ascent will allow you to review the suggestion made (in terms of a possible purchase order or production work order) and allow you to change the quantity prior to confirming the suggestion and making the PO or PWO.  


To access Master Planner, select the Master Planner tab. You’ll be brought to this screen (for illustration purposes, we’re only showing the top of the screen for now; we’ll display and explain the rest later).

The first button you see is the Show Opportunity Options button.  This allows you to not only display real demand from customer orders, PWO requirements, and min/max violations, but whatever is in the system as an opportunity. 

Let’s address the second section, which is displayed after we choose to Show Opportunity Options.  The first checkbox is Include Opportunity.

If we look at more of the Master Planner display, we can see the first group of items.

Then, if we select the Include Opportunity checkbox, we will see the display change:

Notice that a new item appeared, LV Test from Location.  It didn’t appear before, so there must be an opportunity with a quantity of 99.0 (maybe several opportunities) that made this item appear now.

Let’s now deselect the Include Opportunity button and select the Include Active Quotes button:

The display changed, in that the 99.0 is now gone, and a quantity of 1111.0 appears.  This must be an active quote (or multiple active quotes).

We can get more granular than that, by only selecting opportunities with a Probability greater than, equal to or greater than or equal to, the Value:

In addition, we can choose those with a Close Date of a certain criteria, with a date parameter:

Let’s click Hide Opportunity Options and go back to the original top of the screen:

There is a button titled Generate MP Data.  If we click it, it will generate a file with the Master Planner data.  Our customers have requested a way to have the data outputted to an object such that developers and/or users can write reports against it.

We’ve selected two items with the Create PO action.

If we hit Do Action, we’ll see this:

There will be one purchase order created, since both lines have the same default vendor.  We can change the quantities, if we’d like, but for now, let’s accept what it suggests and select the button at the bottom of the screen called Approve Qty for PWO/PO:

Here is the PO that was created:

Let’s illustrate how Master Planner gets used when you do not choose the Generate MP Date.  Options that you have when executing Master Planner:

You can show only those items with requirements that would create either a purchase order (PO) or a production work order (PWO):

You can also show only those items with requirements that have a Requested Date that is equal to, greater than, or less than the value selected in the Value field:

Lastly, you can show only those items with requirements that have a Delivery Date that is equal to greater than, or less than the value selected in the Value field:

The Master Planner screen main body provides you with this look and this information:


  • Item – this is the item name
  • Item Description – the item description from the item master
  • U.M. – this is the default unit of measure from the item master
  • Item Type – this would be Item for those purchased items or BOM for manufactured items or kits
  • Requested Date – this is the date of the oldest requirement.  If the Source is simply Min/Max, then the requirement will be today’s date.
  • Delivery Date – this is the date of the oldest requirement.  The Delivery Date minus the lead time is displayed as the Requested Date.

  • Vendor – this is the default vendor from the item master being displayed
  • Req Quantity – this is the required quantity based on the demand
  • Source – there can be several values displayed here:
    • Order – this requirement was as a result of demand (sales order, opportunities, quotes, BOM Depletion Lines on PWO) 
    • Min/Max – this requirement was as a result of the item having a Coverage Code of Min/Max and it being in violation of the min/max rules
    • Min/Max + Order – this requirement was as a result of both demand from orders and a violation of the min/max rules
    • Min/Max (location) – If you are using item locators to have Master Planner suggest what quantities need to be purchased at individual locations.
  • Action –
    • Create PO – by clicking this button, you will be allowed to create a purchase order for this item, and along with it, any other items for this Vendor that appear on the Master Planner screen.  Note: if there are several lines for a single item (like Collar in the example below) for different locations, each Source will result in a separate PO.  
    • Create PWO – this button will allow you to create a production work order.
    • Create CMPO – clicking this will allow you to create a contract manufacturing purchase order.
    • <blank> – no action – item is a BOM-Phantom, and it’s components have been exploded as individual requirements.  If a component of a BOM-Phantom is a BOM-Phantom, then that BOM-Phantom will also be exploded and its requirements noted. 

Each Action results in a different screen being executed.  First, let’s look at those screens with the custom setting referenced above being selected, so as to allow us to review.

Create PO – in this case, since there was a requirement based on having a minimum on hand at item locator Philadelphia, there were two purchase orders suggested, one for all requirements for the default vendor, and one specifically for item Collar for the location Philadelphia. 

For every suggestion screen, you have the option to Approve Qty for PWO/PO or Back to Master Planner.  Selecting Approve Qty for PWO/PO will create the POs/PWO.  Back to Master Planner will not, and will bring you back to the MP screen.

When you select an item with Create PWO, you get this screen:

It is suggesting a PWO for a quantity of 20.  If you select Approve Qty for PWO/PO, it will then search for component requirements, and give you suggestions on those, if there are quantity issues.

In this case, it a) created PWO-077410 for the quantity of 20, and displayed the two components, neither of which had any inventory.  

If we scroll to the right, we’ll see each has a required quantity.  However in this instance, there is no vendor, therefore, if we were to select Approve Qty for PWO/PO, we will get a purchase order with no vendor.

For Action Create CMPO, we get this:

After we select Approve Qty for PWO/PWO, MP will create 1 CMPO, since both items are for the same vendor.  

Now, let’s turn OFF the custom setting:

And rerun Master Planner.  Starting with Create PO, let’s see what happens:

MP will create two purchase orders immediately, whereas with the custom setting checked, it would first display a suggestion of these two purchase orders.

If we select a Create PWO item, we’ll see this:

And scrolling over, this:

We see that MP created the PWO for us automatically, however, it still gives us the ability to view what the purchase order(s) will look like.  We can’t change the quantities here, unlike when we have the custom setting selected, where we can modify the quantities suggested.


First, let’s do one for a purchased item.

Item Master Fields:

Master Planner specific fields on Item Master:

Now, let’s run Master Planner:

The purchased item, P101, has the Master Planner suggesting a buy of 252.  Its Minimum on Hand is 48, with a sales order requirement of 200, totalling 248.  The Standard Order Quantity is 144, but with the Order Multiple of 12, 248 is above what would be an order multiple of 12 to 144 [144 + 12 (156) + 12 (168) + 12 (180) + 12 (192) + 12 (204) + 12 (216) + 12 (228) + 12 (240), so you’d have to go over 240 to 252.   

Note that since the item has a Coverage Code of Min/Max, Master Planner takes the Minimum on Hands into consideration.  Let’s change the Coverage Code to Requirement and remove the Minimum On Hand quantity:

Now, if we re-run Master Planner, we’ll see a different purchase order suggestion:

It is suggesting 204 – SO Qty = 200, Standard Order Quantity = 200, Order Multiple = 12.  144 +  12 (156) + 12 (168) + 12 (180) + 12 (192) + 12 (204).

Notice the Requested Date (6/10/2021) and Delivery Date (6/30/2021) – if you take the 6/30/2021 Delivery Date and subtract the Standard Lead Time for PO Receipt (20), you get 6/10/2021.

Now, let’s do one for a manufactured item.

Item Master Fields (note Estimated Production Time of 0.04, meaning you can produce 25 in 1 day (1 / 25 = 0.04):

Other Master Planner specific fields on Item Master:

We have no inventory on hand.  Let’s add a sales order to provide a requirement.  

Now, let’s run Master Planner:

The manufactured item, M620 has the Master Planner suggesting a make of 75.  It has a sales order requirement of 72.  The Standard Order Quantity is 50, but with the Order Multiple of 5, 72 would not be an order multiple of 5, therefore, 50 + 5(55) + 5(60) + 5(65) + 5 (70) + 5 (75) and you can stop there. 

Note that since the item has a Coverage Code of Requirement, and Minimum on Hand = 0, Master Planner does NOT take the Minimum on Hands into consideration.  

We also see that with the sales order due date being 6/30/2021, and the quantity on the sales order being 72, we take 72 * 0.04 (Estimated Production Time) and get 2.88, which when rounded up, gives 3.  June 30 minus 3 equals June 27, which is the Required Date to start the production work order.

If we click the Create PWO button we’ll see the Start Date of 6/27/2021  and Delivery Date of 6/30/2021:

At this point, we can modify the quantity or just hit Approve Qty for PWO/PO (at the bottom of the screen).  Let’s hit Approve Qty for PWO/PO.  When we do that, we’ll see on the left hand side of the screen the PWO that was just created:

And on the right hand side, we’ll see what components are required to complete the build of M620:

You can modify these quantities, also.  When satisfied, you can then select (at the bottom of the screen) Create PO/PWO for Selected Items & Back to M.P.  Notice that both lines have the ACTION box checked by default.  If you uncheck them, no purchase order will be created for them.  Let’s press Create PO/PWO for Selected Items & Back to M.P.:

PO-180288 was created for item M-501, taking the Standard Lead Time for PO Receipt into consideration.  The Due Date, 6/27/2021 minus that lead time of 10 days, results in the PO Order Date of 6/17/2021.

PO-180289 was created for item M-502.  That item had no Standard Lead Time for PO Receipt (0) and no Default Vendor therefore, the PO has no vendor and the Order Date is equal to the Delivery Date (6/27/2021).

Let’s change the Coverage Code to Min/Max and put a Minimum on Hand of 100 and see what happens: to the manufactured item M620:



Let’s delete the PWO that was just created and start over.  Running Master Planner now shows a suggested replenishment quantity of  200, which is the Minimum on Hand (125) plus sales order quantity (72) = 197; since the Order Multiple was 5, it rounds up to 200; the Standard Order Quantity was 50, so we are well above that:

And if we click Create PWO, we’ll see the Start Date is 6/22/2021, which is 200 * 0.04 = 8, and 6/30/2021 minus 8 days = 6/22/2021, the Start Date:


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